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Item - El ojo de Khoriand'r



Series: Multiaventura — no. 20
Alternate Title: The Eye of Khoriand'r (literal English translation of title)
Authors: Azpiri, José Ramón
Méndez, José María
Illustrator: Azpiri, Alfonso
Date: 1986
Length: 96 pages
Number of Endings: 12 (not including death by combat or strength point loss)
User Summary: An evil alien race called the Snarks (no, really) is threatening to take over the galaxy. In order to defeat them, you need to find four parts of a magical item known as The Eye of Khoriand'r.
Guillermo's Thoughts: First, a historical note. The last title planned for the Multiaventura series was supposed to be titled Esper 200 (and as the title suggests, it would presumably have involved auto racing). This book is listed by the Spanish ISBN Agency as having been published in 1986. However, I have never been able to find an actual copy, either in a library, in the hands of collectors, or for sale. Based on the lack of evidence for its existence, I suspect this purported book might never have seen the light of day. Unless proven otherwise, I suppose The Eye of Khoriand'r may be considered to be the final book in the series.

This science fantasy book (which is in large part a Star Wars ripoff) is so unexceptional it almost makes me relieved the series is over. Once again, the illustrations by Alfonso Azpiri are the best thing about the book. On every other level, the book is utterly mediocre. The pointless game system from Dracula's Guest and Ghosts, Inc. is extended here so that the combat system is more complex. However, while the system only takes four pages to explain, it is so complicated that the reader is forced to constantly backtrack in order to refer to it; this only makes for a slow and frustrating experience. The inclusion of monster stats (for the first and only time in this series) is a nice touch, but the awkward combat system brings it down completely.

Things do not stop there: the book suggests that several players can compete against each other (presumably with one copy of the book per each participant). However, the adventure does not include any instructions on how to manage turns among the players, making the multiplayer feature unusable. Like previous titles by Jose Azpiri and Jose Mendez, the book requires the reader to succeed in a series of arbitrary random checks, and missing a single check will lead to instant failure. This was not a good feature in previous books and it definitely isn't good in this one either.

As for the quest itself, it is a standard item hunt, with the player being able to choose the order in which he or she will visit the different planets that make up the game world. The outcomes of choices are almost entirely random, meaning that in order to avoid failure, the player will have to keep guessing the right choice at every turn. This is very much reminiscent of the typical Ian Livingstone gamebook but without Ian's creativity. In the end, the adventure is not terrible but it is not very involving either. I suppose this book holds nostalgia value for people who were introduced to adventure gaming by reading it, but there is nothing here that any seasoned gamebook reader has not seen a million times already.

Overall, I did not find this book to be worth my time. The first Multiaventura book by these authors was very strong, but their subsequent entries in this series were progressively lower in quality. Still, I must say I enjoyed most of the Multiaventura books quite a bit and am sad to see the series go. Now, if only the best titles could be reprinted for the new generations to enjoy....

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the cover images, plot summary and other details.
Users Who Own This Item: bleuge

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